I saw the striking image above, from the pope’s Mass yesterday, with those unusual vestments and plain altar, and think that’s something of what The Crescat is talking about in her latest post:
Every time I read about how humble Francis is I take it personally, as a slight meant to imply that his predecessor was some how not. And every time he shuns the trappings of the office of Pope I spiritually die inside a little more…
…It’s more to me than not wearing red loafers and papal vestments. It’s not a matter of personal preferences for pomp and finery and Baroque ornamentation dripping in gold leaf. It’s not liturgically snobbery. It’s about spiritual poverty and slowly being starved to death.
Those things, things that Francis seems to detest, spiritually feed me. They have meaning, meaning that I need to experience through my senses. It’s just so hard to warm up to someone who feels the things you find important and meaningful to be trivial frivolities.
And what does that mean for a Catholic who wants nothing more than to be faithful and obedient to carry about them these negative feelings toward their Papa? The sense of frustration has me in such a spiritual state that it turn makes me feel resentment. Which fuels the guilt, which stops up the holiness, and fuels the annoyances. And I’m stuck in this bitter cycle where I want to scream, “Would it be too much for your humble sensibilities to throw one a little brocade once and while? I mean you are Pope. I’m pretty sure it’s not a sin to look like one.”
For another perspective, here’s Will Duquette, who sees evangelization at work here:
God is infinite, and so infinitely surprising. This is a good thing, because we are all so bound and determined to see what we expect to see that it takes surprise to catch our notice, so that we can see what’s really there. Those who know the Church only from old movies expect pomp and circumstance and robes and lace and candles and baroque splendor. They do not expect care for the poor and simplicity and humility, even though these have always been part of the Church. And so Francis surprises them with what they do not expect. They think it is new, and unusual; in fact, it is the simply the Stone that the builders rejected. Let’s not tell them that, shall we?
Not until they are curious enough to ask….